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Midsummer bonfire Chapel Carn Brea near Lands End, West Cornwall.

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The celebration was organised and managed by the St Just and Pendeen Old Cornwall Society.


 

The Cornish midsummer eve bonfire celebrations. The first fire is lit at Chapel Carn Brea near Lands End followed by the fire on the next hill near Madron. Each fire would be lit only after the previous fire had been sighted, until there were bonfires all the way up to the border with England.

The history of the midsummer bonfire dates back to the times of Pagan rituals. In its early days, the Church found itself faced with the alternatives either of supressing altogether the such Pagan festivals as the Midsummer bonfires, or adopting and adapting them for its own purpose.

It generally choose the latter option; and so the fires were allowed to continue, though they were now lit to celebrate the Eve of St John (Cornish golowan, from gol Jowan, John's feast).


Waiting for the Sun to set over the Brisons before lighting the fire. There's a Simply Green Cornwall camp site at the foot of Chapel Carn Brea, an ideal base to explore the far western tip of Cornwall.


The fire is lit by the locals after a prayer was read in the Cornish language.


Within minutes the flames could be seen for miles and the signal was sent to Madron to fire their own beacon of light.


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